automotive lifestyle and motorsport photography sony alpha
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Sony 70-200mm f/4.0 G OSS ISO100 F8 1/250 70mm

This was my first ever WEC event, and even though I’ve been to Silverstone before I didn’t know what to expect. But one thing blew me away immediately, the ACCESS to eveything. I could go to almost any grandstand, the paddock and even a pit walk. The smaller crowd, and length of the endurance race, meant that all those little gaps in the fencing that are usually jam packed at an F1 race, were open for me to use. If I couldn’t get some nice photos here, I wasn’t going to get them anywhere. The pressure was ON!

My style of shooting overall is to shoot what’s available. And that’s why, as a fan at an F1 race, I take so many photos of the people and event space as a whole. I found that a bit harder to do at the WEC event. First off there are fewer “interesting” people to see and photograph. But more than that…the cars on track were so beautiful and accessible. I just couldn’t resist trying my hand at getting some nice panning shots! 1/80 shutter speed looked the best, but it’s hella hard to get it sharp.

Sony 70-200mm f/4.0 G OSS ISO100 F9.5 1/90 200mm

Sony RX100 ISO125 F11 1/30 37.1mm

My race kit hasn’t changed much, I’ve simply added a Gen 1 Sony RX100 to my A7, Sony 70-200mm f/4.0 and Sony/Zeiss 55mm 1.8.  I’ve added the RX100 for ultra wide angle and to simply make sure I have a camera ready to go at ALL times. I mostly use the Sony 70-200mm f/4.0 for high speed action, the Sony/Zeiss 55mm 1.8 for shots in the pits/paddock/hospitality/entertainment areas. But honestly, if I have the distance, there is nothing the Sony 70-200mm f/4.0 can’t shoot, and I still really love the way it renders.

Sony 70-200mm f/4.0 G OSS ISO100 F16 1/100 200mm

Since I had never shot anything like this really, my settings were more a scatter shooting mess, I tried everything. With continuous AF on, and shooting in burst mode, I felt like the A7 struggled to keep up with the cars. I got some keepers but it was a challenge, I could only get 3 or 4 frames captured as the car went by. I ended up using manual focus and manually focusing on a portion of the track where then I would simply follow cars into and out of this area in burst mode. The burst mode was SIGNIFICANTLY faster when it’s not trying to AF-C between each frame, so I got 7 or 8 frames each time.

Sony 70-200mm f/4.0 G OSS ISO100 F16 1/80 200mm

Sony 70-200mm f/4.0 G OSS ISO100 F5.6 1/250 200mm

The biggest thing that I learned while shooting the cars on track, is that it’s very easy to make a boring image. I have a bunch of sharp, boring shots of a car on the track. Motorsport is alive, it’s raw, fast, dangerous and competitive. Who’s fighting who? How close do they race? What’s the story? Does it look fast? Is it beautiful? This is the single biggest challenge about taking photos of racing cars. I’ve tried to chose photos that show the beauty, the chase, the speed of motor-sport! But of course, we are interested because we love cars so you have to get some nice solo shots of them as well. Just make sure they look FAST!

Sony 70-200mm f/4.0 G OSS ISO100 F11 1/250 200mm

Sony 70-200mm f/4.0 G OSS ISO100 F4 1/640 200mm

I hope that with each photo in this series you can figure out why I’ve taken it. You wont find a better Motorsport event to practice your photography than the WEC. So get your ass to a WEC event and get practicing, you wont regret it!

Sony/Zeiss 55mm 1.8 ISO100 F10 1/125

THANK YOU

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